Cuttings - May

Haiku, Concrete and Short Poems


By Mike Garofalo 
Red Bluff, Tehama County, Northern California


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Walls of red
bougainvillea bracts,
lasting and scentless.



Dirty hand, callused palm,
black fingernails:
Green Thumb.



wide-eyed cows
taken in a trailer
fruit in a basket  



The cows have vanished down the road,
    and the last clouds have floated away.
We sit together, the valley and me,
    until only the valley remains.  

(Thanks to the Taoist poet Li Po.) 



cottonwood fluff
stuck to dry weeds
silent wind chimes  



Under our floor,
Spider families.
Two Worlds - an inch apart.



The Mind is a vast Bodhi forest,
The body a Bodhi tree.
Dirt is in every cranny,
Flowers blossom, leaves fall.

The Bodhi Trees have been cut down,
The Bright Mirrors shattered.
Beginning with nothing,
Replant the trees, remake the mirrors.

Make one's mind like a mirror,
One's body like the Giving tree.
Reflect accurately and impartially;
Give fruit and shade. 
-   Above the Fog 



Soothing hum
twirling ceiling fan
we doze on the cool tile. 



Mother's Day
an old man
hugs his granddaughter.  



A killdeer fans its tail and peeps,
luring us away from the nest she keeps.



Lathhouse shade
the scent of honeysuckle
filling the shadows.  




Onion Garden, A Concrete Poem by Michael P. Garofalo.





Bittersweet vines
bounce in the breeze
a peacock shrieks.



pilgrimage over
their home is sacred



Dead mouse
in my dog's mouth
dark clouds. 



The force of Spring -
powerful beyond measure.



Some of my haiku poems appeared in the May-June 2004 issue of Simply Haiku.



Studying a tree
my dog and I
pause and pee. 



Old frog
crawls out of hole



quiet hours
no holiness.



dark and dirty
pond at dawn
white ducks dip



a thorn
almost invisible
still stinging



after watering ....
    the Swiss chard



A flurry of gnats
on sunset breezes
splattered windshield.



Squeezing my hand,
she said goodbye,
one last time.



Dusty cream ceiling
bowlegged black spider
plodding upside-down



Concrete Poetry



Rising early,
    Long I Ponder
Decades gone.



    Wide mind, deep feelings ...




Good weather all the week, but come the weekend the weather stinks. 
Springtime for birth, Summertime for growth; and all Seasons for dying.
Ripening grapes in the summer sun - reason enough to plod ahead. 
Springtime flows in our veins.  
Beauty is the Mistress, the gardener Her salve. 
A soul is colored Spring green.  
Complexity is closer to the truth. 
All metaphors aside - only living beings rise up in the Springtime; dead beings stay quite lie down dead. 
Winter does not turn into Summer; ash does not turn into firewood - on the chopping block of time. 
Fresh fruit from the tree - sweet summertime! 
Gardens are demanding pets. 
Shade was the first shelter. 
When the Divine knocks, don't send a prophet to the door. 
One spring and one summer to know life's hope; one autumn and one winter to know life's fate. 
Somehow, someway, everything gets eaten up, someday. 
Relax and be still around the bees. 
Paradise and shade are close relatives on a summer day. 
Absolutes squirm beneath realities. 
The spiders, grasshoppers, mantis, and moth larva are all back:  the summer crowd has returned!
To garden is to open your heart to the sky.
Dirty fingernails and a calloused palm precede a Green Thumb.
Time will tell, but we often fail to listen.  
Seeing with one eye and feeling with the other does help bring things into focus.  
Round things are very nice - fruit, women, the earth.   
Gardening is a passion to continue, despite failure and uncertainty.  
The empty garden is already full.  
Gardeners learn to live in worm time, bee time, and seed time.
Pulling Onions, by Michael P. Garofalo   



Memorial Day
summer clothes.



tiny green plums
nestled in the leaves
hiding from the sun



The shade moves
ever so slowly
the heat crawls past noon.







Her son
hears her last breath



Lines of baled hay
yellowing in the sunshine
dry May day.



A few molecules awry, madness beckons:
Flooding visions, no mind that reckons.




Howling dog
over and again and on ...



Close to midnight
    the train
    rumbles past.



Thunder shakes the schoolroom walls,
kids squeal, hail rattles outside the halls.



Rich or poor,
wise or foolish
inevitable midnight. 



Checking the drip lines
one by one, in the sun ...
my sweat drops ...



Purple and pale blue
    vetch blossoms festoon the pond;
        draped by the black sky. 



two points on one needle;
speaking never listening.



Taking aim--
the First Precept



The gardens, fences,
pastures, foothills, mountains ... All
    disappear in the night.



the growl of trucks
    edges off
the silence of night



Up and down, up and down, up and down;
two hummingbirds fussing round and round.



candles in the wind,
flickering greens.



Robust grape vines twine and climb
on the sagging fence that never whines.



Paint splattered art room floor
scuffed and worn from desk to door.



The cat paused
on her path of destruction
licking her paws.



shotgun blast
    his brain
    drips down the wall



telling the story,
    the empty house stutters
    over the sad parts



Cloudless morning
pale blue sky
lonely meadowlark's cry.



A curvy county road
turns past three white crosses
both hands grip the wheel. 



The ominous soundtrack
fills the room
penetrating fear. 



two roses
crawling under the fence,
looking for the sun



Dead cat
one leg up
the magpies hop closer.



Basho's crow:
sketched with words
perched on a page.



Beneath the pond scum
deeper down,
the pebble drops away. 



Dead Dog, A Concrete Poem by Michael P. Garofalo





Thousands of leaves
shake in the breeze
empty sky.  



"A ha!" to you may be "Ho hum" to me;
But, "A ha!" together is true poetry.



Dead at forty five, we buried him;
Alcohol and vicodin, did him in.
Steve G.  1950-1995



Somewhere in Vietnam:
a grandfather cries,
thinking of friends killed by GIs.



Touch and run ...
Tag, your It!
Playing It is fun.       



Flesh to flesh






Night crew
closing up the restaurant
tired faces.



Memorial Day
nitro boat races on the lake -
4000 horsepower Taps.




"May the millions and millions and millions
of women, children, elders, and men
homes, farms, orchards, animals ...
who all perished
in the endless ugly wars
All be remembered and cherished.

No thanks to all
the lock-step soldiers, warrior zealots, drugged mercenaries,
heartless politicians, and duped sheep-folks
of Nations, Religions, and War Lords
who raised their bloody flags
who cheered themselves
who called on the blessings of God and Allah and Country
who stole as they pleased
who murdered all in sight
bulldozed the dead into ditches, and
day-dreamed of building Memorials for themselves. 

Are there heroes in all these tragic tales?
Where there decent, honorable and just men defending ...
Of course!
They are quiet now,
heads bowed,

Fold up some flag, bury it deep,
Plant a tree over it today:
a living sign,
a growing reminder,
of the beauty
of the productivity
of the happiness
Of Peace!"

In Memoriam, May 26, 2008  




(Starting in the Spring of 1994, more than 800,000 Tutsi tribespeople 
were massacred by Hutu tribespeople in Rwanda, Africa.)


He sliced off
her little hands
cleaning up Rawanda.

Classrooms filled
with rotting corpses
Hutu educational reforms.








Cuttings:    March     April     May     June     July




Months and Seasons
Quotes, Poems, Saying, Lore, Myths, Holidays, Gardening Chores






















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Copyrighted 2008 by Michael P. Garofalo
Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California.
All rights reserved.


I Welcome Your Comments, Ideas, Contributions, and Suggestions
E-mail Mike Garofalo in Red Bluff, California


Who is Mike Garofalo?


Cuttings:  May Spring
Haiku, Concrete and Short Poems by Michael P. Garofalo
First Distributed on the Internet WWW in September 1999.


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Cuttings - Haiku, Concrete, and Short Poems by Mike Garofalo

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